Is it Bad to Get Dogs from Breeders? (Solved & Explained!)

It is not bad to get dogs from breeders in general, however you should be aware of potential pitfalls and carefully assess the pros and cons before you buy a dog from a breeder. Be prepared and do your research before you get your dog from a breeder for the best possible outcome for you and the dog.

This article will provide tips and information to help you make a good decision about whether to purchase a dog from a breeder.

What is the benefit of getting a dog from a breeder?

According to the American Kennel Club, a dog from a breeder is pure-bred, meaning their mother and father are of the same breed and are also pure-bred. If you are looking for a dog born to perform a certain task or fulfill a certain need (for example, a guard dog, herding dog, or small, apartment friendly companion), a dog from a breeder might be a good choice.

What is the danger of getting a dog from a breeder?

Unfortunately there are many disreputable breeders who over-breed dogs and mistreat their animals purely for profit. Dogs from these breeders (also called “puppy mills”) may be unhealthy and not well-socialized, leading to potentially severe medical and behavioral problems.

What is a puppy mill and are they bad?

According to the Humane Society, a puppy mill disregards the health of their animals in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits from the sales of their puppies. The dogs are often kept in dirty and cruel conditions. Unfortunately, in most cases, puppy mills are not illegal.

What makes a good or bad breeder?

A good breeder is someone who genuinely cares for their animals and wants them to represent the best aspects of their specific breed. They want their dogs to go to loving homes that will provide the best environment for their dog to flourish. A bad breeder is only in it for the profit and does not care about promoting the breed or the well-being of their dogs.

How do I find a reputable breeder?

Breeders are required to be registered with a governing organization such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). AKC has “Breeder of Merit” and “Bred with H.E.A.R.T.” programs whose members are dedicated to preserving their breed and producing healthy, well socialized puppies. A good place to start your research is through these programs.

What are some warning signs of a bad breeder?

A bad breeder may avoid meeting you in person by selling their dogs through newspaper advertising, the internet, or pet stores. A bad breeder will not let you see where their animals are kept and will avoid answering questions about the medical history or breeding history of their dog.

What should I consider before approaching a breeder?

Consider the specific breed they are offering and whether it is a good fit for you and your home. Some breeds require more veterinary care, grooming and upkeep, and physical exercise than others. Some breeds also get along with children and other animals better than others.

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I have decided on a specific breed of dog. What are some questions I should ask my potential breeder?

A reputable breeder will be happy to answer all of your questions. Ask to see where the animals are kept and if possible, ask to meet the mother and father of your potential puppy. The parents will be a good indicator of the future size and temperament of your pup. Ask about the medical and vaccination histories of the parents and the puppy.

What should I be prepared for when approaching a breeder?

A reputable breeder will ask you many questions in order to ensure you are a good fit for their dog. They may ask how large your home is, if you have children or other pets, and if you have enough time to devote to your dog, as they are looking out for the best outcome for their animal. It is best to be honest with them and with yourself to ensure a good fit for you and the dog.

What should I do if I encounter a bad breeder?

If you believe you have come across a criminal enterprise and witnessed animal abuse, contact your local law enforcement. If you believe you have come across a breeder who has poor breeding standards (someone who keeps their animals in substandard conditions, or over-breeds their dogs), you can report them to their governing organization such as the AKC.

What options do I have if I purchased a sick dog from a bad breeder?

If a dog you purchased ends up being sick and/or having hereditary issues, and a vet has certified this occurred before you purchased the dog, there are state laws that protect you as a buyer (also known as “puppy lemon laws”). You may be able to get a refund of the dog’s purchase price and vet bills. You should also report the breeder to the AKC or similar governing organization.

Where is an alternative to get a dog besides from a breeder?

Some argue that getting a dog from a breeder is bad because there are so many dogs deserving good homes in shelters. These dogs may not be pure-bred but in many instances they are healthy, well behaved and make terrific household pets. Visit your local Humane Society or city animal shelter to see these dogs in person. If possible, do not purchase a dog from a pet store as they often come from puppy mills or unethical breeders.

Is it better to get a dog from a shelter instead of a breeder?

Although their background and breeding may be uncertain, mixed-breed dogs from shelters are often hardier and require less veterinary care than pure-bred dogs from breeders. They are also less expensive up-front and usually are already spayed, neutered and vaccinated.  By adopting from a shelter you also contribute to the shelter’s mission to reduce animal overpopulation and help stray, unwanted animals.